Saturday, August 7, 2010

Struise Mikkeller (Elliot Brew)

I went to Cafe Bruges in Carlisle with family for dinner and I ordered a bottle of Stuise-Mikkeller (Elliot Brew). The beer pours a copper color with a lofty and foamy white head. The aroma is malty with orange and caramel. The taste is bitey and bubbly with a good caramel base and plenty of orange and yeast accents. The taste rounds out with a good helping of candisugar and good spice accents with light hop bite. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. I thought that this beer was an excellent drinking brew and had a great mouth feel. I would describe this beer as having a lot of pep in its step, as it will attack the sides of your mouth with spice and hops, but in a very good way.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Iron Hill Cherry Tart

The final beer I ordered on my last visit to Iron Hill in West Chester, for dessert no less, was the Cherry Tart. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head that has good lacing. The aroma consists of cherry and wheat. The taste is light cherry but slightly sour and a good wheat balance. The taste has a light sugar sweetness and is not too sour or weak. The alcohol content is 5.8% ABV. Overall, Iron Hill achieved their goal in making this beer taste just like a cherry tart. I was surprised that the cherry wasn't too overpowering in its sourness, but it was a great tasting beer, especially for dessert.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Iron Hill Maholo Apollo

While at Iron Hill in West Chester on my last visit, I ordered a glass of Maholo Apollo. The beer pours unfiltered yellow color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemongrass, wheat and thyme. The taste is sweet with lemon, wheat, and thyme and has a biscuit undertone. The beer has a pleasant rounded flavor that is easy drinking and smooth, but yet a light pepper finish. The alcohol content is 6.9% ABV. I really enjoyed the Maholo Apollo and will definitely order this beer on subsequent visits to Iron Hill. The twist for me was the thyme spice accent that really danced on the tongue.

Iron Hill Hopzilla

On an evening following a Union match, my buddy Matt and I stopped into Iron Hill in West Chester for dinner. The first beer I ordered was the Hopzilla. The beer pours a copper color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma is strong lemon and light pepper. The taste is also lemon and pepper with same caramel undertone. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. The Hopzilla was a delicious IPA, but nothing too special either. It is a great beer to order while at Iron Hill, but not worth the trip there alone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Troegs Scratch 32- Keystone Common

I stopped in to Troegs to pick up a case of the newest Scratch Beer series, Scratch 32 Keystone Common. This beer is a spin off of a California Common, but with a little bit of Pennsylvania flavor and hop addition. The beer pours a pale yellow color with a medium-sized white foamy head. The aroma consists of sour malts and a light hop accent.The beer is a light drinking malty brew with a good lemon hop accent. The beer is a little dry on the finish, but has a great hop character. The alcohol content is almost sessionable at 5.4% ABV. The Keystone Common makes a great summer drinking beer, as it is a light beer. However, the addition of hops really makes the beer a little more complex than a typical common, and very enjoyable.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nebraska Brewing Company Melange a Trois

When I was at Brass Rail in Campbelltown, they placed a few bottles of Nebraska Brewing Company Melange a Trois on the shelf, their first shipment into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It took some deliberation on my part to fork over $34 for a 25.4 ounce bottle, but I caved in a bought it. The Melange a Trois is a Belgian-style ale aged in Chardonnay bottles. This was my first beer from Nebraska Brewing Company, and I was excited to try it, given the reviews I have seen. The beer pours a brilliant golden color. From the pour, my first thought was “Holy head!” The pour takes off with an extremely lofty and foamy white head that hangs around for a while, sticking to the glass as it subsides. The aroma consists of banana, pepper, candisugar, white grapes, and Belgian yeast. Once the head subsided in about three minutes, I moved on to tasting the beer. The taste is full and powerful from the start. The carbonation attacks the tongue quickly, followed by flavors of candisugar, banana, and sweet yeast. The finish to the beer has a bit of a pepper and alcohol bite, drying the mouth as it goes down. The Chardonnay aging is present in the finish, as remnants of white grapes and Chardonnay linger in the mouth. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. I must say that I was very impressed with the Melange a Trois. My first experience with Nebraska Brewing Company was a positive one, and I look forward to trying more of their beers. However, the $34 price point was pushing my limits a bit, but I'll blame some of that on the Pennsylvania taxes on beer.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Otter Creek Imperial IPA

When I was at McKenzie Brew House, they had Otter Creek Imperial IPA as a guest beer. The beer pours a copper color with a thin white bubbly head. The aroma is strong with caramel and lemon. The taste is sweet and caramel and a strong alcohol bite. There are some light lemon accents mixed in there as well, but not overpowering. The beer has a slightly dry finish with a light pepper bite. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. I was extremely impressed with this beer, especially with the strong caramel presence and the ever-present alcohol bite.